ONCE UPON A CHRISTMAS EVE is a novella that while while being part of the "Maiden Lane" series, can also be read as a standalone. Other than Megs and Godric (Lord of Darkness, Book 5) nobody else from the series makes an appearance. The story centers around Godric's half-sister Sarah St. John, a spinster who was burned by a rake long ago and has been left disillusioned from the experience ever since. Adam Rutledge, Viscount d'Arque, is a rogue who's opposed to wedlock after witnessing the pain and chaos of his parents marriage. When these two are forced into close proximity for the holiday season sparks fly, opposite attract, and by the time Christmas arrives neither of their lives will ever be the same.
I had such high hopes for this story and wish I could say that I loved it, but I really can't. On a positive note however, I didn't hate it either. It was a fast read and while not boring, I just found the whole thing a little lackluster. To be honest, I had a hard time buying into Adam falling so hard and fast for Sarah. And while I liked them both, I never truly loved either of them. Even the two love scenes felt a little lukewarm, which is not something I can often say about anything Hoyt writes. Overall though there was no suspense and nothing that ever engaged me. I was also left wondering why Sarah's other two sisters weren't married, since the youngest was going on twenty and the middle one was reputed to be a beauty.
To tell the truth, the best part of the whole story was the lovely fairy tale titled "The Frog Princess" that was unfolded right along with Sarah and Adam's romance. It was really cute and charming and I looked forward to the beginning of each chapter just so I could read it. In the end though I guess I just didn't feel like this novella had a lot of effort put into it. I still love Elizabeth Hoyt though as well as the "Maiden Lane" series which remains one of my all-time favorites, and probably always will =)
Setting: England, December 1741
Ages: Sarah (27) Adam (35)
Kindle Locations: The story itself ended at location 1119 of 1335 and 84% with the remainder being a note about the author and an excerpt for DUKE OF DESIRE, as well as a list of other titles and praise for Elizabeth Hoyt.
An all-new novella in the New York Times bestselling Maiden Lane series by Elizabeth Hoyt!
About the Author
Elizabeth Hoyt lives in central Illinois with her husband, two children and three dogs. Visit her at www.elizabethhoyt.com